Does this animated GIF explain why Google buses are a good thing?

Let’s see:

[GIF by The Atlantic]

40 Responses to “Does this animated GIF explain why Google buses are a good thing?”

  1. Andy says:

    Grabs popcorn… Allan you trying to drum up some traffic or something?

  2. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    No, but it helps show why public transportation is.

    • Leary says:

      When reasonable public transportation options aren’t available, one can’t be surprised when people try to work around that fact. And no one expects Bay Area public transit agencies to be able to get in gear and start offering better service out to the South Bay anytime soon.

      • Hal says:

        South Bay or North Bay, neither one gets sh*t from the main Bay Area agencies.

      • stiiv says:

        I like the tech buses just fine. I have, however, had this argument with many a google-ite.

        Google, Apple, Yahoo, all the big companies are not the least bit engaged with public transit. They don’t build their buildings near rail links, they don’t show up to meetings, they don’t support bond measures, they don’t do shit.

        So fine, you got your buses. I’m okay with that. But don’t pretend it’s because public transit sucks. You guys haven’t even tried.

      • Zig says:

        It is not possible for public transit to serve suburban campuses 35 miles away from downtown

    • JohnnyL says:

      fucking troll

  3. Brock Keeling says:


  4. Mass transit is a good thing. Private buses cramming through tiny streets and blocking MUNI stops with little or no oversight from the local government seems a little less of a clear case.

    I dont think most folks are opposed to the private buses themselves, they should just run along safer paths and existing infrastructure for larger vehicles.

    • 94103er says:

      But the streets are ‘tiny’ because there’s corner-to-corner parking on both sides of the street and Muni stops are blocked because the city doesn’t have the balls to take away parking spaces and put in more white or yellow zones for loading/commercial.

      If we remake the streets in a more sensible, European way, you’d barely notice the buses anymore.

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

      Yup, well said, fellow do(k/c)tor.

  5. Just say yes says:

    everyone should turn around and float downstream instead of trying to fight the rapids upstream. I ain’t no salmon. I love the gbus to mtv, the facebook bus to MPK, the genentech bus to god knows where and the apple bus to cupertino. These companies are my heros. God bless them all — god bless one and all.

  6. Steves says:

    Can they make a GIF for gentrifying the Mission?

  7. umm says:

    This only makes sense assuming that they would all decide to get cars and drive to work if there weren’t buses. The thing is most of the reactionaries around here believe these employees should just curl up and die because they, you know, moved here five years after they did.

  8. DanCronin says:

    or people can just live closer to where they work.

    • Valenchia says:

      @Dan Cronin: yeah, because people never change jobs, never get transferred to a new location, never decide to enter into a long term relationship with someone who works somewhere else in the area and never have any valid reason for wanting to live somewhere other than right next door to where they work.
      Sorry but the rest of us live in the real world.

      • Andy says:

        Well to be fair I’ve heard quite a few tech folks say that most of their colleagues weren’t moving to SF because no easy transit route existed…. that was before the buses.

      • heyballsack says:

        Actually, you don’t.

        Most people try to live near where they work because they simply cannot afford to commute too far, either due to money or time constraints. Sure, some people will always choose to commute over an hour and 60+ miles round trip to work, but this is certainly an above average commute. The tech buses are externalizing the costs of that commute onto the community in San Francisco instead of, say, figuring out a public/private option that helps everyone. Google investing in public transport infrastructure wouldn’t be unheard of and is certainly a viable alternative to paying for the Google buses.

        • dan7000 says:

          @heyballsack Thank you. Exactly right. Google buses are not public transit, and they create traffic because they cause google employees to live in already congested neighborhoods of the city instead of in Mtn View where they would live in the absence of the buses.

          If google cared about the issue they’d have their campus in San Francisco like any sensible and responsible company.

  9. owen says:

    when did the google bus switch from running down Guerrero to Valencia? It made a lot more sense to have it on a two-lane street than one lane-with-turn-and-bicycle lane… this bugged me over the weekend…

  10. Moonie says:

    What most people see with this gif is the opportunity to ease congestion for themselves – Hey if more people take the bus my morning drive will be less congested!

    But yes, of course mass transit is still a great idea – I’m just putting my horns on

  11. J.B. says:

    Just a small point, but the issue people have is that the “Google” [tech] busses are NOT public transit, they are PRIVATE transit. I believe that if these companies rallied to create a PUBLIC solution to these transit lines then there would be no argument or fallout. Most of the criticisms revolve around this point, I don’t think anyone wants these employees to switch to cars. Just another example of how tech will let public utilities rot in favour of their elite/exclusive systems.

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

      Hear, Hear.

    • Joyride says:

      Hey – great idea – I’d take a public bus that didn’t go anywhere except straight to the Google campus. Do you think I’d be able to sneak into their cafeteria?

      p.s. I think all MUNI lines except the street cars and ones with overhead wires should be privatized (with performance standards mandatory for contract renewal or extension).

    • Zig says:

      There is no public solution. Those buses work because they take people directly to wok from a dense residential area

  12. Localegs says:

    I don’t know if the gif applies. The corporate buses I always see are empty – in the lower haight and mid-market area. Are they running too many of them?

  13. I hate techies says:

    Techies, just stay in palo alto where you belong and there’s no Darth Vader bus or techie douchebag problem in the Mission, nor is there is traffic problem on the freeway.

  14. Greg says:

    Fuck yeah

  15. kkopp says:

    Yes, yes, the tech busses might actually be reducing some traffic and associated pollution, but as a number of savvy people here have noted, the considerable funds and care that the busses of all these companies represent are essentially funds and care that are denied to the REAL solution to the problem, namely effective public transport.

    That being said, the one thing that keeps San Francisco as affordable(!) as it is(!) is precisely the fact that Caltrain and Muni are so unreliable and backwards. If there were REAL public transport connecting SF with the Valley and points between – something that lived up to the name of “mini bullet train” or whatever it is that Caltrain calls its pseudo express service, for instance – then it wouldn’t be the high incomes of the passengers on a few busses pushing the cost of everything inevitably higher, but a vast wave of surplus capital sweeping a considerable number of us away in the simple market logic of lots of money chasing relatively scarce commodities (housing and related amenities, including restaurants, recreation, etc. etc. etc.

    So, I guess the bottom line is, thank god that we have the haphazard transit mess that we have; the tech busses are just the thin edge of the wedge!

  16. Username says:

    A. That is not even San Francisco
    B. GIF assumes one person in each vehicle
    C. Doesn’t cite the total number of tech busses, nor where they terminate/originate.
    D. Doesn’t mention the capacity vs actual usage per bus

    That’s just often top of my old head the reasons this is flawed.

  17. Javi says:

    I have no problem with evolution. Neighborhoods (yes, even the Mission) change, as do their residents and businesses. So I am not shocked to see buses entering the fold in the SF traffic landscape.

    But let’s call these elite forms of transport precisely what they are: Tech Limos. They are the black AmEx credit cards of transportation.

    One has to wonder if Google Guy A sees a Yahoo Guy B on a competing transport and asks himself in his best Patrick Bateman, “I can’t believe that Bryce prefers the Yahoo bus to mine.”

    Let’s stop pretending that these buses serve to benefit the public or that they ease traffic. They serve to benefit the few that ride them…and to make a statement to the rest of us.

    Andy’s observation remains, though: perhaps these buses won’t ease traffic on the roads and will simply create traffic for sites like MissionMission.

  18. Blablabla says:

    You guys, what if Obama works for THE GOVERNMENT?

  19. George W. Bush says:

    Okay, so these buses reduce some congestion. Let’s keep the momentum going, then. Google et al should provide luxury buses for the displaced, lower-wage workforce who now have to commute back into the city.

  20. Andrew berg says:

    I guess, if “because i said so” answers “why?”